Green Alert for veterans in crisis

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Wisconsin becomes the first state in the nation to implement a so-called Green Alert, a notification system for missing veterans in crisis.

"People say veterans, we are our own breed," says Marine Corps veteran Galen Sherbon.

And with that unique breed comes a new alert system - just for them.

"A Green Alert is specifically for veterans in crisis," says Captain Kevin Warych, Green Bay Police Department. "The Green Alert gives officers, all law enforcement agencies, the ability to disseminate missing persons information specifically for veterans."

The Green Alert will appear the same way as a Silver or Amber Alert does: on a billboard as you're driving down the highway, or to a notification on your phone.

"We disseminate information to the community, with the goal of summoning the community. Watching, and being our eyes and ears, when they can," Captain Warych tells Gray affiliate WBAY.

That means when you see that a Green Alert has been issued, it's time to keep a look out for a veteran that may be in crisis.

Sherbon, who served in the Marines for four years, says he's all for the alert system.

"I think it's cool that they did green, because military, green," he jokes. He calls the system "a great way to give back," that could help prevent harmful situations.

But, he says, you never know what's going through the mind of a veteran.

"I would definitely not approach that person, because you don't know their mental state of mind," Sherbon says. "I mean, especially if they have combat training, and you come up to them, and just like, 'Hey!' tap them on the shoulder. You know, that could send them back into some kind of faze, and they could take you down or hurt you, you never know."

If you do find a Green Alert veteran, contact law enforcement right away.

So far, no Green Alerts have been issued in Green Bay.